To optimize hoof care, horse owners need to work with a farrier who will practice sound trimming and shoeing principles. The best relationship develops with an educated and experienced farrier who is open to input from the horse’s veterinarian and is one who will commit to a team approach.
Other attributes of a good horse owner-farrier relationship rely on the farrier being conscientious about communication with the horse owner. He or she should also make an effort to be on time for appointments, or at least call ahead if there is a delay.
A competent farrier is an essential part of the horse’s care team in not just optimizing soundness, but also in managing hoof pain. Besides maintaining medial-lateral balance of each foot, techniques to improve breakover of the hoof help relieve pressure on the coffin joint and supporting ligaments within the foot while also lessening the energy required for the horse to pick up and move the foot.
Consult with your veterinarian for a farrier recommendation, preferably one with whom your vet can work efficiently and in friendly collaboration. Horse-owning friends can also provide good recommendations, but it is important to ensure that the farrier and veterinarian have an amicable relationship that works in your horse’s best interests.